Job-Hunting Notes - Part 2
First Come First Served
Updated in March 2021
During job seeking process, you might see the notifications from companies that require you to submit/finish some application document by a certain fixed date (yyyy/mm/dd). I used to think that as long as I complete it before the deadline, it was fine. But one unspoken rule I learnt from my experience is “first come, first served”.
I passed the document screening of company A and they asked me to choose the date/time for the 1st interview. Many companies open recruitment in several continuous months (e.g. March to June) while others offer separated recruitment periods of 2-3 weeks (e.g. March 1st to 20th, May 1st to 20th...). Company A’s recruitment system adopted the 2nd one. Because I applied documents around the end of the current recruitment period, when I clicked the link to select interview time, most of the options were unavailable. Only 2 choices were left. There were (1) mm/dd and (2) arrange later in next recruitment period. Since option (1) was same time with an interview for another company, so I selected option (2) with the thought that they would contact me later when next recruitment period opened. Unfortunately, I did not get any information from them.
My professor’s friend worked for company B. By chance, they met each other in a conference and he introduced my professor about his company. He said that his company want to hire many international students and they did English interview as well. When I received that company’s brochure from my professor, I was so happy because there were many offered positions related to my major. I passed document screening and they called me to arrange interview (Some companies allow students to choose interview time on web whilst others call/mail. I was always scared by these Japanese calls). After 5-tough-minute talking in Japanese, I asked them to confirm if the interview was in English. They said they were very sorry because they were planning a Japanese interview for me. The English interview will be organized another time and they would contact me later if I wanted. And you know, they forgot me.
Both my friend and I applied to company C. I submitted the application quite early (mid-March) while my friend finished it just one day before the deadline (mid-April). I thought it was not different since we both did it on time. However, I was offered 1st interview very quickly in early April, and got the 2nd interview just 2 weeks later. My friend was offered interviews too, but it was near golden week holidays (late April to early May), so his interview was postponed. After holidays, we thought that he would have interviews. Unlucky, company informed that they hired enough to fill positions, and had to cancel my friend’s interview. We were very sad to hear that.
A year later, my friend applied again for company C. This time, he did it very early, and he got the job offer in mid-April. I think he learnt a precious lesson about timing. I am glad that now he is working at company C.
One of my favorite idioms is “early bird catches the worm”. I think it is totally true for job-hunting. I hope you could learn something from my job-hunting experience.